Military moms

Women who have babies shortly after returning from military deployment are more likely to have preterm babies.

Nearly 12 percent of women who gave birth shortly after returning from military deployment had preterm deliveries, compared with 6.1 percent of other active-duty servicewomen, a Stanford study showed.

Jonathan Shaw, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine and lead author of the study, used military records to track 12,877 births from 2011 to 2014.

Because being pregnant during deployment appeared to raise the risk of preterm birth, he suggests that women could be advised: “It’s a pretty stressful time; consider returning home and settling in for a few months before you add to your family.”

The study was published March 1 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.